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The following players are for the week of April 29 - May 6.
DURHAM, N.C. -- In a battle of POWERADE FAB 50 teams, No. 1 Calvert Hall (Baltimore) used an eight goal second half to defeat No. 49 St. Mark's (Dallas), 11-1 at the Brine King of Spring Face-off Classic on Sunday.
Calvert Hall took an early lead over the Lions, scoring two goals in the first quarter. The Cardinals were held to just one more goal in the first half to go into the second half with a 3-0 lead.
St. Mark's freshman goalie Conner Mullen recorded six saves in the first half to help keep the Lions in the game, but the second half opened with Stephen Kelly winning the face off and taking the ball straight to the net for a goal.
Junior Jordan Germershausen scored the next three goals to extend the lead to 7-0 and help put the Cardinals in control.
"We got outworked in ground balls and turnovers killed us in the first half," Germershausen said. "We just started clicking in the second half."
Calvert Hall got two goals apiece from Kevin Diehl and Tim Kelly in the second half to break open the game and give the Cardinals an 11-0 lead.
St. Mark's senior and Michigan commit, Will Perkins, scored the lone goal for St. Mark's.
Calvert Hall heads back to Maryland where it will host Hill Academy (Canada), Conestoga (Berwyn, Pa.) and Salesianum (Wilmington, Del.).
St. Mark's drops to 6-2 this season and has one game remaining in the King of Spring, Monday against Durham Academy.
Grace Under Fire
St. Mark's started freshman goalie Conner Mullen against Calvert Hall, marking his third varsity start.
Mullen did not seem intimidated by the Cardinals' 17 college-bound athletes, making 13 saves in the game.
"I thought Conner did an excellent job today against a very good offensive team," St. Mark's coach Hayward Lee said. "He was able to make some saves, author some clears and helped with our defensive communication."
St. Mark's reached the state semifinals in Texas last season and is considered one of the top teams in the state in 2012, but the Lions' best years may be ahead of them.
Just five seniors are on the roster this season and a few times during the Calvert Hall game, the Lions' ran a line entirely made up of freshman and sophomores. St. Mark's does not have a junior varsity team so its young players gain varsity experience from the beginning of their high school career.
Another team that should be making noise over the next few years is McCallie (Chattanooga, Tenn.). The Blue Tornado's roster has just eight seniors and already boasts junior Brier Davis who recently committed to play for Hofstra.
More Scores from Day 3
Christ School (Asheville, N.C.) def. McCallie, 10-9
Christ School had an 8-4 lead at halftime and held on to win as McCallie outscored them 5-2 in the second half. Zach Mitchell scored three goals and had one assist while Ells Parham and Ben Mulford each scored two goals to help Christ School in the win. Brier Davis scored three goals for McCallie while Bass Barfield recorded four saves. Christ School improves to 7-1 this season while McCallie drops to 3-2.
Rockhurst Jesuit (Kansas City, Mo.) def. Charlotte Country Day, 7-2
Charlie Ferber scored four goals to help Rockhurst improve to 3-1 this season. Michael Radford and Shepard Wilton each scored for Charlotte Country Day.
Highland Park (University Place, Texas) def. Christchurch (Va.), 15-14 OT
Down three goals with four minutes remaining, Highland Park tied the game with 30 seconds left to send it into overtime. Senior Nico Cancemi scored the game-winner 20 seconds into overtime. The goal was Cancemi's sixth of the game. Bryce Green and Robert Mencke each scored three goals and goalie Matthew Meaders recorded 10 saves in the win. Highland Park improves to 3-2 on the season. Christchurch falls to 1-2.
That’s how good the Cardinals are.
With 15 Division I commits and four D-III commits filling out its roster, Calvert Hall is as stacked as any team in the nation. It has four players ranked in the ESPNHS 100 -- including Brown (59) and Patrick Kelly (3) and is the No. 1 team in the POWERADE FAB 50 rankings.
If the Cardinals hope to stay there and finish the year No. 1, they’re going to have to get off to a good start at the Brine King of the Spring Face-off Classic.
“Nothing is going to be handed to you on this team,” Brown said. “Every day you have to earn what you’re going to get. If you don’t work hard in practice, you’re going to get pulled because we have enough talent to do that this year.”
Calvert Hall is one of the 21 teams from seven states competing in the third annual interstate lacrosse showdown being played in the Raleigh-Durham, N.C., area from March 9-12. The Cardinals face Georgia state semifinalist Lovett (Atlanta, Ga.) and Texas state semifinalist St. Mark’s (Dallas, Texas) in its second.
That’s not exactly the easiest way to kick off a season. But the Cardinals are excited for the competition.
“Both of the teams we’re playing have a lot of talent, so we’ll have a good idea of where we are pretty early on,” Calvert Hall coach Bryan Kelly said. “This will be our first live action of the year and we’re going to be playing against teams that will have been playing for a while, so it should be a good challenge for us.”
It will also be a challenge for the other schools competing. Calvert Hall isn’t the only one with talent.
“Lovett features returning All-American attackman Cory Palmer. In Lovett’s game against the Cardinals, Palmer and Cardinals defender Evan Connell, who is the No. 50 ranked player in the ESPNHS 100, will battle on the offensive end of the field.
Every day you have to earn what you're going to get. If you don't work hard in practice, you're going to get pulled because we have enough talent to do that this year.” -- Calvert Hall senior Ryan Brown
Other star players competing include Norfolk Academy (Va.) All-American defender David Best, ranked No. 31 in the ESPNHS 100, and Rockhurst Jesuit (Kansas City) All-American midfielder Peter Muelenbach.
But nobody has it quite as good as Calvert Hall.
They have three North Carolina commits (Kelly, Connell and Stephen Kelly), three Towson commits (Brian Bolewicki, Tyler Mayes, Reece Bartell), two Johns Hopkins commits (Kelton Black and Brown), two Ohio State commits (Carter Brown, John Kelly), one Norte Dame commit (Garrett Epple), one Maryland commit (John Belz) and more than a half dozen other college-bound players.
Their defense (Connell, Epple and Mayes), midfield (Black, Bolewicki, Belz, John Kelly and Stephen Kelly) and attack (Patrick Kelly, Ryan Brown and Carter Brown) are comprised entirely of D-I recruits and most of the backups are going to play at big-time schools too.
No wonder Ryan Brown is worried about his spot.
“We’re backed up at every position with talent,” Brown said. “We’re definitely capable of going undefeated and we’re not expecting anything less.”
With a roster that deep and talented, they shouldn’t.
King of the Spring Face-off Classic Schedule
Friday, March 9
Norfolk Academy (Norfolk, Va.) vs. Charlotte Country Day (Charlotte, N.C.), 6 p.m.
Charlotte Latin (Charlotte, N.C.) vs. Blue Ridge School (St. George, Va.), 8 p.m.
Durham Academy (Durham, N.C.) vs. Christ School (Asheville, N.C.), 2:15 p.m.
Rockhurst Jesuit (Kansas City, Mo.) vs. Lambert (Suwanee, Ga.), 4 p.m.
Lovett School (Atlanta, Ga.) vs. St. Anne’s-Belfield (Charlottesville, Va.), 6 p.m.
Christchurch School (Va.) v. Providence Day School (Charlotte, N.C.), 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 10
At Cardinal Gibbons High School
St. Anne’s Belfield vs. St. Mark’s (Dallas, Texas), 2 p.m.
Broughton (Raleigh, N.C.) vs. Christchurch (Va.), 4 p.m.
Apex (N.C.) vs. Lambert, 6 p.m.
Cardinal Gibbons (Raleigh, N.C.) vs. McCallie (Chattanooga, Tenn.), 8 p.m.
Christ School vs. Rockhurst Jesuit, 10 a.m.
Charlotte Latin (Charlotte, N.C.) vs. East Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, N.C.), 3:30 p.m.
Norfolk Academy vs. Providence Day (Charlotte, N.C.), 5:30 p.m.
Highland Park (University Place, Texas) vs. Charlotte Country Day, 7:30 p.m.
Lovett School vs. Calvert Hall, Noon
R.J. Reynolds (N.C.) vs. Blue Ridge School, 2 p.m.
St. Christopher's School (Va.) vs. Ravenscroft School (Raleigh, N.C.), 4 p.m.
Sunday, March 11
St. Mark’s vs. Calvert Hall, 10 a.m.
Highland Park vs. Christchurch, Noon
Charlotte Country Day vs. Rockhurst Jesuit, 10 a.m.
Christ School (N.C.) vs. McCallie, Noon
Monday, March 14
Highland Park at Ravenscroft, 5 p.m.
St. Mark’s at Durham Academy, 4 p.m.
ESPNHS lacrosse editor Mike Loveday will be covering the tournament. Check the site for daily recaps and leading scorers. Follow ESPNHS Lacrosse on Twitter @ESPNMike for updates during the games.
Tennessee used to crown two champs -- a Division I winner and a Division II winner -- but beginning this spring only one victor will be able to call themselves the state’s best.
Goodbye, split divisions. Hello, State Champion Division.
“We felt like we needed to combine the two divisions to help the growth of the sport,” said Will Jenner, who is the TSLA vice president and Ravenwood (Brentwood, Tenn.) head coach. “The idea is to make teams work harder and still create a competitive balance.”
“The new format will combine nine teams from the old Division I with 14 teams from the old Division II to form the State Championship Division.
If you want to be the best, play the best. The players moving up from Division II will get better and the teams will get better because they will be playing better competition.” -- Will Jenner, TSLA vice president and Ravenwood head coach
The ten remaining teams from the old Division II, which includes four new programs, will compete in the Invitational Tournament Division. Those ten teams will not compete for a state title, only a tournament title.
“The ITD is more of a development league for new programs and teams who do not have the resources to compete with the rest of the state,” Jenner said. “This gives them a chance to develop and compete for a tournament title and then eventually move to the SCD.”
Coaches in the TSLA all voted on the new realignment after last season and 75 percent of the coaches were in favor of the switch.
“I think most coaches felt like a lot of the Division II teams were not challenging themselves and they were getting too complacent,” Jenner said. “They didn’t want to come play in Division I and we felt like that was hurting the development of the players.”
A big reason why some teams never wanted to leap to Division I is what Jenner calls the Power 3 schools– McCallie (Chattanooga, ten.), Memphis University School (Memphis, Tenn.) and Montgomery Bell Academy (Nashville, Tenn.). The trio of powerhouse programs have dominated the state during the last 15 years and are the clear favorites to compete for the state title this season.
"Some coaches that were against it, I felt like they didn’t want to move up just because they won’t have a great chance to win the state title,” Jenner said. “But I disagree with that thinking.”
Jenner added, “If you want to be the best, play the best. The players moving up from Division II will get better and the teams will get better because they will be playing better competition.”
Not every coach in the state is on board with the switch.
Just ask Webb (Knoxville, Tenn.) coach Rico Silvera.
I can run against Usain Bolt once a week and I will never make it to the Olympics.” -- Webb coach Rico Silvera
He thinks the majority of the old Division II will not have a chance to compete with Division I’s best and that will hurt the growth of the sport.
“Everyone will be overwhelmed when they play them and it’s ridiculous when you are trying to build a program,” he said. “I can run against Usain Bolt once a week and I will never make it to the Olympics.”
But don’t expect Silvera and Webb, last year’s Division II runner-up, to just fall flat, he said.
“We will still go and compete and will elevate our game,” he said. “But for a lot of schools who are trying to climb the ladder, that ladder just got a lot more difficult to climb.”
Travel costs also factored into the decision for most of the programs involved. During the former format some teams were traveling up to seven hours for playoff games and even two to three hours for league games.
“Division I was really spread out and this helps us geographically,” Kemp said. “Travel was definitely an issue.”
Silvera agrees with some of the arguments for the new look league, but at the end of the day, he still thinks the sport will not grow like most expect.
“I really don’t think the majority of these high school programs will grow because of the large talent gap,” he said. “Participation will diminish. I will continue to say that until I am proven wrong.”
TSLA (Tennessee Scholastic Lacrosse Association) Division Alignment